To protect against cyber threats, you should close any excess and unused ports on your business’s network. Ports are used to send and receive data. Both servers and host computers have ports that can connect to other machines. While ports are typically used for legitimate purposes, they can also be used for malicious purposes, such as stealing data or installing malware. You can protect against cyber threats such as these, however, by using a port scanner.
What Is a Port Scanner?
A port scanner is a program or application that’s designed to scan a network for open ports. When you run a port scanner, it will scan your business’s network for open ports. The port scanner will then compile the results, revealing which ports are open on which machines.
Each server and computer on your business’s network has many open ports. Some machines, in fact, have thousands of open ports. Unfortunately, cyber criminals often leverage these open ports to conduct their malicious activities. With a port scanner, you’ll be able to see which ports are open on your network-connected computers and servers so that you can take action to close them.
There are several types of port scanners, some of which include the following:
- TCP port scanners
- SYN port scanners
- UDP port scanners
- FIN port scanners
- ACK port scanners
Why You Should Use a Port Scanner
Using a port scanner will protect your business’s network from cyber threats involving open ports. Most cybersecurity experts will agree that it’s best to limit the number of open ports on a network. The more open ports your business’s network has, the greater the risk of a cyber attack. Identifying open ports manually, though, it’s easy. With hundreds or even thousands of open ports, you’ll need to use a different solution, which is where a port scanner comes into play.
A port scanner isn’t a silver bullet to defend against all cyber threats. Rather, it only offers protection against cyber threats involving open ports. Nonetheless, using a port scanner in conjunction with other cybersecurity solutions will lower your business’s risk of sustaining a cyber attack.
Cyber criminals often target computers and services through one or more open ports. If a port isn’t needed, you can close it to protect against intrusion. A port scanner is a program or application that allows you to easily identify open ports on your business’s network.